We don’t need any

Lynette Sowell My front porch

It never fails. Whenever we find out a new business is coming to town, the comments start, some of them prefaced with the phrase “we don’t need any more _____” and fill in the proverbial blank. 
Today a company is celebrating opening doors in Copperas Cove – Raising Cane’s. I’m not writing this to pick on them, not at all. However, I’m sure I don’t need to point out we also have Chick-fil-A, Bush’s Chicken, Church’s Chicken and KFC—because THEY have already done it.
This will make five restaurants in our city that specialize in chicken. I’ve already heard mini-rants in conversations and on social media: “We don’t need any more chicken places.” Then THEY will blame the city, or whoever, for the fact there’s another business opening that’s not up to whatever THEY think we need. 
I’m not sure who THEY are, exactly, but if you don’t want to eat chicken, don’t eat chicken. Stick with your favorite place, if you don’t like this one. It’s freedom of choice. Although, I still kinda miss the old Casa Ole’ – anyone remember their stuffed avocados? But, that ship has sailed, as they say, and the company does business elsewhere and not here. They were free to leave and others are free to come in.
Back to THEY, the ones who say we don’t need any more chicken places. I believe I also heard a rant where THEY also didn’t think we needed any more sandwich shops, as we have three Subways, a Jersey’s Mike’s, and now, McAlister’s. I remember a similar uproar when a local businessman opened another Top Donuts location, and when Shipley came in: “We don’t need any.”
One of the things THEY seem to forget is that maybe we don’t “need” any more chicken places, but who says we “need” any restaurants to begin with in our city? Take it a step further, if THEY would like: Do we really “need” to shop here, when other cities have things we might “need?”
No, maybe we don’t “need” a certain number of whatever kind of business. However, these fast-food, or fast casual dining places, bring at about 50 jobs or more to our community, per store. That’s hundreds of jobs over the past several years, counting only the businesses I mentioned (except for the doughnut shops). 
I know what some will say, that these businesses don’t provide a “living wage” for most of those employees. That’s what we’re relying on our economic development corporation to bring in – those higher-paying jobs (ahem).
But those jobs are something, to someone, hundreds of “someones.” Maybe a kid who’s desperate for a job. They’re in high school or college, looking for something to supplement life at home while they’re working to start the “adulting” thing. Maybe it’s a mom, looking for some way to help her family while the children are in school. Maybe it’s a senior citizen, trying to earn a little more while they’re on a fixed income. Maybe a last-ditch effort for someone who’s just trying to live and stay out of trouble. Why should we ignore these because we think we “don’t need any more ___”?
Another valuable thing these businesses bring is sales tax revenue. Not everybody pays property taxes, but EVERYBODY eats, so a wider range of people are bringing money into the city by virtue of the fact they’re buying lunch or takeout for supper. 
Before we say we “don’t need any more,” maybe we should stop and think about what others truly do need, beside ourselves. 

Copperas Cove Leader Press

2210 U.S. 190
Copperas Cove, TX 76522
Phone:(254) 547-4207